|The Ark of the Covenant
Numbers 1:1 to 7:1
1:1 Yahweh said to Moses, "Count up how many men, 20 years and older, that are capable of going to war. I need to know how many soldiers I can field. Except don’t count the Levites. I need them to take care of the church and administrate this little theocratic dictatorship we have developing."
Moses and Aaron organized a confederation of tribal armies. They reported a total of 600,000 troops plus women and children, a truly unbelievable number considering their limited agricultural capacity. Each tribe's army pitched camp separately under its own flag while the Levite tribe camped all around Yahweh's big church tent. Yahweh was adamant about the Levite exemption from the draft. He said "The Levites are mine, all mine, all mine. Ever since that time I killed all those Egyptian children I've considered the Israelite's firstborn sons to be mine. I mean, even the firstborn livestock are mine so it just makes sense. All firstborns are technically mine because I am God, but I decided to take as mine all of the Levites, every one of them, instead of the other tribe’s firstborns." So Moses counted the Levites by themselves. He reported to Yahweh, 7500 sir yes sir.
3:30 A man named Elizaphan was put in charge of moving all the religious stuff Yahweh had accumulated including the fancy sacred gold box that Yahweh stayed in when they travelled. When they camped the paraphernalia was all kept in the big tent. Any strangers seen coming anywhere near the big tent were immediately killed.
Yahweh said to Moses "Count all the firstborn, one month and older, even the cows." So Moses counted them too. This time he used the figures to tax the tribes and then handed the money over to the head priest, his brother Aaron.
Yahweh then explained in long boring detail just how he wanted his golden travelling box taken care of and exactly how to spread out the purple cloth and how to arrange his precious badger skins. Yahweh has badger skins and he is kind of touchy about how they are displayed.
After Yahweh’s fancy golden box was readied for travel, the sons of Kohath were honored with the task of carrying it by the long poles attached to the sides. It was like luggage for a god. They were warned however that if they even barely touched the box itself, Yahweh would instantly kill them, perhaps by melting their faces off. So it was dangerous luggage. The boys would wait until some Levites had covered up all the holy stuff in the church before they went in to get the box or Yahweh would kill them instantly just for looking at that other stuff. Yahweh declared that some guy named Merari and all his fellow Gershonites, 30 years and older, had to carry all that other tabernacle hardware, like furniture, and candles, and badger skins.
5:1 Yahweh said to Moses "Kick all the stinking lepers and other disease-ridden people from the camp. I don't want those people in the camp where I live." Moses kicked them out of the camp.
5:12 Yahweh said to Moses "If a man's wife sneaks off for the purpose of doing the bedspring boogie with another man and refuses to admit it, or if there is no proof and the man suspects she's been cheating on him, tell him to bring her to the priest and bring a couple of pounds of flour with no oil on it or anything, just flour. Here’s a formula for finding the truth, it works every time."
1. Sit her down in front of me.
2. Take some holy water and add a pinch of dust off the tabernacle floor.
3. Have her hold the flour while the priest holds up a pitcher of the bitter water that causes the curse.
4. Have the priest tell her that the water will have no effect if she is innocent but if she's been fooling around, her thighs will rot and her belly will swell.
5. Tell the woman to say amen, amen.
6. Write the curse in a book and then wipe it out with some of the water.
7. Make the woman drink the water.
8. Take the flour from her and wave it in front of me then throw a handful on the altar and burn it.
9. Have the woman drink some more water.
"If she's pregnant she'll abort, and after that if her thigh rots and her belly swells, she's cursed and a lying slut. If not, she's ok. In this way the husband can avoid being guilty of sleeping with a slut and the woman will have received proper justice."
6:1 Yahweh said to Moses "Ask the people whether any of them would like to make a super-duper special promise to me and separate themselves from other people as being super-duper special. It’s called the Nazerite Club and they can join by following these three simple rules."
1. No drinking wine. No drinking or eating anything that is related to wine; no vinegar, no grapes, no raisins, no grape leaves, no grape seeds and so forth.
2. No haircuts, none. This is a wild and shaggy long hair club.
3. No touching dead bodies ever, not even close relatives.
Yahweh included gory details on the proper butchering of farm animals, should one of the elite Nazerites break the third rule and touch a dead body by accident. In addition to animal sacrifice, the rule breaker would then have to shave his head and start all over growing his hair long again, but he could then go out and get drunk sucking down wine for that one night.
6:22 Yahweh said to Moses "When you bless the Israelites say this: God bless you, God bless you, may he smile on you and give you peace. And I will bless them."
7:1 When Moses first declared the tabernacle to be in service, the people brought tons of livestock and other valuables to the opening ceremony. Moses directed them to hand over all the valuable merchandise to the Levite officers. Then they had a special dedication program that lasted almost two weeks. Moses went into the big tent and heard a loud voice booming from just above the fancy golden box. It was Yahweh's voice of course and he gave them a bunch more tedious ritualistic details about lighting candles and incense and stuff.
Yahweh told Moses to have someone make two special trumpets so Aaron could have a way to signal the people.
1. Blow both trumpets and it means everyone come to the big tent.
2. Blow one trumpet and it means just the leaders come to the big tent.
3. Blow an alternating two horn alarm and it means the tribes are to freak out, go into full bore linear panic mode with every man for himself, scatter and hide.
Yahweh said if he heard them sound the two alarm thing during a big battle he would probably come save them.
Yahweh's cloud lifted from on top of the big tent and wandered off again so they all struck camp and headed out chasing after it. Moses told his in-laws from Midian that if they wanted to tag along he would make it worth their while. As they travelled they carried Yahweh's box out in front and Moses would say "Ok, God, get out there and scare the enemies." When they stopped to pitch camp for the night he would say "Ok that's enough, come back God, get back in your box."
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